when someone complains about all the wasted space on a website that could have content in it, i ignore all their website design opinions forever

i've seen the websites you want the whole internet to look like and they're impossible to use, thanks

"look at all this whitespace with nothing in it" yeah that's the part that makes the website good


it's such a bizarrely common take that empty space is wasted space and you should have information blasted into your eyeballs from every square centimeter of the monitor. please space things out nicely so i can read them normal. i am willing to scroll, that's fine

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@monorail One of the most pleasant pages for me to read is Microsoft Docs for API documentation and references. It's dense with information but one of the most comfortable sites to read for me.

@monorail For example:

It's efficiently using space, yet not overloading me with information. Just a clean table of contents on the left, and the current section on the right.

@Dolly @monorail Oh yeah this is really well laid out

A thing that I don't like as much is how scrolling down works how you would expect until you reach the table of contents, and then the left part "sticks" to the top and the rest keeps scrolling. I get why it is like that but I find it a little disorienting. But other than that the use of space is good

@socks @monorail To be fair, it's one of only very few webpages I use, so getting used to this behavior is trivial for me.
(It's also basically standard practice for most languages' online docs)

@socks @monorail A counterexample to show why I prefer the sticky table of contents:

This site is deeply unpleasant to use, because scrolling the table of contents is locked to scrolling the content of the current page. If I'm at the bottom of the page, thinking "oh, I need to read more about this module now", I need to scroll all the way back up to navigate there.

@Dolly @monorail That makes sense! It's probably better for usability. I just personally find having multiple scrolls a little disorienting, especially when using the keyboard to move, because I don't know which of the scrolls will move when I press "down"

(Also wow tiny margins)

@socks @monorail Yeah, the MS docs page is excellent about keyboard navigation though, it has extremely high-visibility focus rectangles when you press tab, and relatively few focus regions to tab through in order to select the region to scroll. It's always weird that a corporation so evil as MS does so well on the subject of accessibility.

@monorail the way I'm currently reading these toots is a pretty great use of super dense space, I feel like?

And then if you use panels, I mean, I love them but they're intimidating to new users.

But I got to read all of this without scrolling down. If I only could see one or two at a time, it'd kill the flow.
I say all this cause I think that's what people actually want but confuse it with "WALL OF TEXT"

@monorail then you had Skype when they redesigned it, where they just threw in padding randomly

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